Relative Amplitude of Courtship Song Chirp and Trill Components Does Not Alter Female Teleogryllus oceanicus Mating Behavior

Susan L. Balenger, Laura M. Lara, Marlene Zuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low-amplitude acoustic signals intended for short-range communication, often called soft songs, remain poorly studied, especially among acoustically communicating invertebrates. Some insects do employ low-amplitude acoustic signals, but it remains unclear what the specific function, if any, is of quietness per se. Male Teleogryllus oceanicus, or Pacific field crickets, produce a two component, short-distance courtship song consisting of a high-amplitude series of chirps followed by a lower-amplitude trill. We investigated whether female T. oceanicus prefer to mate with males that sing courtship songs containing trill components that are equally as loud as (−0 dB) or quieter than (−3 dB and −10 dB) the loudest chirp (90 dB). We found no evidence that modifying trill amplitude affects female mate preference. We did, however, find that previously unmated females were faster to mount males than were females that had mated once before. Previous mating status showed no significant interaction with trill amplitude. What, if any, function of low-amplitude components of field cricket courtship song remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalEthology
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota and a National Science Foundation Grant to M. Z. (IOS 1261575).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH

Keywords

  • acoustic signaling
  • cricket
  • female preference
  • soft song

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